Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pagan values: pleasure and beauty

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be beauty....

(The Charge of the Goddess)

To be incarnate in a human body is to know exquisite pleasure. I imagine that when souls choose to incarnate they do so largely because they want to put on a body and feel the lusciousness of being human: of flesh upon flesh, of swimming in cool water on a hot summer's day, of eating chocolate and strawberries, of dancing and yoga, of stroking an animal's soft fur, of making and witnessing art, of warming in front of a fire, of mud baths and hot springs, of smelling incense and flowers, of nibbling a baby's fat thigh.

For we Pagani, all glory is in embodiment. We don't honor asceticism, chastity, or restraint. There is no reason to deny the pleasures of the flesh. All mutually consensual and pleasurable sex is holy. All variations on the human form are lovely and beloved. Our sacraments include taking care of oneself and one's body, of each other's body, of animals, children, and the land. We seek the pleasure in eating and shitting, in crying and bleeding, in sex and dancing, sleeping, stretching, breathing.

To make beauty is a holy thing: to plant a flower, prepare an altar, pick up litter, carve a toy, sweep a stoop, cook a meal, or paint a picture. We practice bearing witness to the beauty in others. If I could do nothing more than reflect back to my son the beauty that shines in his face and his whole being, then I have been a good mother.

It's not necessarily easy. I complain sometimes. I have a habit of negative judgment. I let ideas about what's wrong, and my self-judgment, cloud my vision of what's true and right and beautiful and holy. I sometimes deny my body what it needs. I worry about the weeds in the garden, the dust in the house, the shape of my body, the uncertainty of my path in life. I tell myself that I don't have time to enjoy myself, or that I don't deserve to, or that I should be doing something different from whatever it is I'm doing. We must be vigilant against self-denial and self-abnegation.

The call is always to open to what is, to make a small patch of earth beautiful and lively, to enjoy the pleasures given to me every day, to love my life and make it holy and delicious and good. To turn toward myself. To embrace the mystery and mess. And to give thanks for the good green earth, all-sustaining and filled with delights. Blessed be.

9 comments:

embreis said...

Beautiful, and perfectly said.

mamiel said...

Oh, I really, really love this. I even relate deeply to teh neurotic self-nagging (I thought I was the only one who does that!) thanks for a beautiful blog post!

Anonymous said...

just what i needed to hear right now. thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this, I think that many of us would/will/could benefit by reading these heartfelt words!

Iritar said...

Nice post. I'm glad to say we pagans see the magic of the world all around us. Higher awareness of this increases our abilities.

---Lea Elisabeth said...

Blogger needs some kind of favorite blog posts feature, because this would be added right away. Good job!

greekwitch said...

I just found your blog and i am hooked. What a beautiful post! Living through our senses and experiencing beauty more spiritually is indeed a noble cause. I wish i could stop passing judgement on myself for the way i look. I will get there.
Thank you for this post.

Buffy said...

Beautiful post!